Time Away from Work for Professional Development
Professional development opportunities may be available to eligible employees without loss of any pay or without charge to the employee's accrued time off as described below:
Professional development programs are intended for employees who are expected to continue employment at UMGC for a period of time that will justify the cost to UMGC.
Participation in employee professional development programs will not be denied to eligible persons because they are employed in programs supported by funds derived from contracts or grants.
Employees must receive written approval from their supervisor to participate in professional development programs that require the employee to spend time away from their normal work assignment.
Supervisors should make every effort to support the development and growth of employees, and are encouraged to approve employee participation in professional development programs that will add value to the employee's position-related skills, unless the requested time away for professional development cannot be supported due to its significant impact on business operations.
While actively participating in such a program, employees are entitled to full salary, continued participation in the appropriate retirement system, and receipt of all other employee benefits for which they are eligible. Holidays will be observed consistent with VII-7.30-GC – UMGC Policy on Holiday Time Off.
If the appropriate professional development program is available by the USM, the employee shall pursue the USM program.
When there is a break in the employee's professional development program, the employee shall be required to report for duty. The CHRO or designee may make exceptions on a case-by-case basis.
Leave of Absence for Professional Development for Exempt Staff Employees
The President or designee may approve any administrative leave of absence for an exempt employee to pursue advanced instruction or other approved plan of development for a period of up to six (6) months.
To be eligible for a professional leave of absence, the employee must have been employed at UMGC in a full-time, Regular status position for no less than six years.
An employee who requests administrative leave for professional development must sign a written agreement in which the employee agrees to return to UMGC immediately upon completion of the leave and serve as a full-time employee for twelve (12) months thereafter.
Work Release for Nonexempt Staff Employees
Work release without loss of any pay or without charge to the employee's accrued time off may be available to Regular status, full-time Nonexempt employees to develop skills and job proficiency in their present positions or acquire minimum qualifications for a higher classification as part of career development as follows:
Short Term, Full-Time Work Release
Work release programs are for the purpose of assisting employees to acquire skills necessary in the use of new or modified methods and equipment, and/or skills and knowledge required to meet changes in the employee's present position.
Programs cannot exceed a period of thirty (30) working days.
Tuition or registration fees and related expenses are authorized allowances that may be paid by the department where the participating employee is employed.
Long-Term, Full-Time Work Release
Long-term, full-time work release programs must be part of career development designed to assist participants in acquiring minimum qualifications for a higher classification or specified additional levels of responsibility.
Such programs are limited to employees pursuing advanced instruction at the graduate level and certified by UMGC as full-time graduate students in each semester.
Upon request of the department or unit head, the CHRO or designee may waive the graduate education requirement upon a determination that the program is vital to the operation of the department or unit and in the best interests of UMGC.
The department or unit head is authorized to withdraw approval for continued participation by an employee in the program upon evidence that the employee is not making satisfactory progress.
To be eligible to participate, an employee must be employed for at least one year in a Regular status, full-time position at UMGC immediately preceding the start of the work release.
Tuition, travel and all other costs may be paid by the employee.
Employees participating in programs of this type will be required to enter into a written agreement with UMGC. The agreement shall contain:
The total amount of salary the employee will be paid while on long-term, full-time work release status.
Acknowledgement that this amount constitutes a payment by UMGC on behalf of the employee that must be repaid in service time, subject to the following conditions:
The amount to be repaid will be reduced at the rate of one month of salary for each three months of service completed after satisfactory completion of the program.
If the employee resigns from his/her position prior to the completion of the obligated service, the unpaid balance of the amount to be repaid will be due and paid to UMGC.
If the employee is involuntarily separated, or if in the judgment of the President or designee the separation of an employee is the result of adverse, unforeseen, or extenuating circumstances that impose undue personal hardship to the employee, the President or designee may release the employee from the unpaid balance due to UMGC.
Leave of Absence for Professional Development for Overseas Staff Employees
An employee wishing to attend a staff development function related to their specific area of expertise should submit a written request to their supervisor at least 90 days in advance, if practical.
Requests are reviewed by the Vice President of the Division or designee, and are evaluated based on the following:
The availability of funds;
The potential impact of the development function on job performance; and
The benefit to the Division/UMGC.
UMGC Professional Development
UMGC periodically may offer professional development training programs to employees. Employees will be permitted to be absent from duties for full or partial workdays, as follows:
The Office of Human Resources, when resources permit, will make available appropriate, professional development workshops, courses, seminars and other opportunities of general benefit to employees;
With the assistance of the Human Resources Office, each unit or department may also provide professional development programs, the subject matter of which is unique to the needs and operations of the department.
During instructional periods of these programs, participating employees will receive full salary, continued participation in the appropriate retirement system, and receipt of all other employee benefits for which they are eligible.